Defaults of saving and restoring workspace


The first thing I do after a new RStudio install is to change Global Options to not “restore .RData into workspace at startup”, and never “save workspace to .RData on exit”.

I understand those defaults are those of GNU R itself, not RStudio.

RStudio already being a somewhat opinionated take on R (in my view, even more so with the tidyverse effort), would it be conceivable to change those defaults to encourage reproducibility, especially among newcomers who rely on it too much?

I just realised this has already been discussed in another topic but my question is specifically about making it the new default


We generally shy away from changing defaults like this for a few reasons:

  1. There is substantial teaching material about how to use RStudio that assumes that R and RStudio will save and load the workspace for you by default,

  2. A change like this could effectively cause ‘loss of information’ for some users who were not expecting the new default – that is, for better or worse, not all R users are in the ‘reproducible workflow’ camp, and those users would likely be unhappy to realize their R workspace suddenly appeared to vanish.